Wednesday, January 25, 2017

rambling late-night panic post

Christ alive, it's all a bit much. You know, of all the things I've been worrying about, the president threatening martial law in my town during his first week in office somehow didn't occur to me. That was definitely an oversight on my part...I should've seen that coming.

Meanwhile Twitter edges ever closer toward unusable. I'd say about 90 percent of my timeline is politics now and whatever, hey, I get it. I'm doing it too. But I'll tell you what's not making me feel any better at all is that half a fucking onion thing, which is inevitably recycled into my timeline at whatever point of the day I'm feeling the most unhinged or upset. That's maybe part of the algorithm now, where your read so many nightmare tweets and then you get the stupid onion thing.

Hey-ho there friend, are you feeling despair? Is there so much cortisol coursing through your body that you can hardly see straight? Well, here you go: follow this fucking onion. That's pretty much all you can do. I think I'm sensitive about it because the symbolism of this onion is just too on the nose right now. We are all just bags with half an onion.

On the upside I think I'm finally getting to a place where I don't experience weird deep bodily feelings of horror and disgust when I see a photo of Trump. Now what I can't stop noticing is his blank old man expression. It reminds me of those people at the nursing home who are so old they've just gone mute, so they just sit there and scowl at you.

A little oatmeal drooling down his chin would not seem amiss in that photograph. This is seriously his expression any time he's not talking. Normally I'm not that into ugly shaming but I truly feel that we haven't really talked enough as a country about how bad looking these people are. I wish that whole topic would gain some traction on twitter.

Kellyanne legit looks like she died back in the 90s and someone figured out how to reanimate her corpse with a tanning bed. I talked to my mom for like half an hour about this photograph alone.

What is going on in her leg area??

As a person with a casual interest in reading media tea leaves, things are looking very bad to me right now. I don't mean the big stuff like, you know, the six journalists who have been charged with felonies for covering the inauguration protests (though obviously that's real bad). I'm talking about Gawker getting owned by Ted Cruz, which is just unwholesome. Like...that's four horsemen-level irony for sure. It's also a very small example of this much larger thing where we haven't figured out how to effectively frame Republican villains. For ex, in this bad article that asks whether or not it's okay to punch nazis, a NYT journalist refers to Richard Spencer as an "activist." ("For the record, Richard Spencer says he's not a nazi," it also says. Hmmm.) The way the sheer awesomeness of the punch video has been sullied by all these pieces about the ethics of hitting nazis is just very dispiriting to me. Most major outlets have run at least one piece along those lines, and then of course there's the matter of whether or not it's okay to make fun of Barron or whether it's okay to boycott the publisher who gave Milo a book deal.

Meanwhile there has been next to nothing about how a protester was shot by an alt-right guy at Milo's speaking event at UW Seattle. Partly that's because it happened at the same time as the punch, partly it's that the scene was super chaotic, partly it was disinformation from Milo himself, who framed it as an act of aggression against one of his fans during the event. The coverage was extremely convoluted and mostly local up till Monday night. Functionally no coverage from national outlets at all. is it that I read more about a statement from Simon & Schuster (Milo's publisher) about his book deal than the first(?) alt-right shooter at a protest? I have to conclude it's because the angle that plays is the controversy--the argument about what's appropriate. A shooting outside Milo's event is too far removed from his larger-than-life piece of shit personality for people to really find it interesting.

Ironically I think the Milo shooting raises the only relevant objection to punching nazis, which is situations in which bystanders may get hurt. The protesters at UW were rowdy, but the guy who was shot wasn't punching anyone--he was a peacekeeper. Also one thing I read said the shooter was pepper-spraying the crowd? Yikes. The shooter has already told police it was self-defense, and last I read, the police released him even though the very act of having a loaded gun at the protest was a crime. Anyway.

People keep applauding the media for doing better on calling out Trump's lies, but the same sort of sensationalism that helped get him into office is still doing its thing with these alt-right shitbags. And I feel a lot of its echoes on Twitter, where there's still an awful lot of useless talk about civility. What with that and all the doom and that fucking onion, I'm just not sure how much more I can take. Today I found myself wishing (not for the first time) for some sort of alternative internet that's just completely devoid of politics. I don't have to retreat there full time; maybe it could be like in prison where they let you go outside and walk around in a circle once a day.

I fantasized about Internet 2 all day today. I expect I'll do the same tomorrow.


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